A glimpse into a complicated year for a middle-class
Mexican family's maid in the early 1970's.
Written and Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Starring Yalitza Apricio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, Verónica García, Jorge Antonio Guerrero
Oscar Wins - Best Director, Best Foreign Film,
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress (Yalitza Apricio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira), Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing,
Best Sound Mixing
Roma is a gorgeous film and, at the very least, showcases Alfonso Cuarón's considerable talent as a filmmaker. He weaves together a deeply personal tale of a young maid's trials and tribulations as she faces an unwanted pregnancy and the crumbling of her employer's marriage. It's a film that resonates because of how real it is. There are times when it drags, because life isn't always interesting. It's one of the few films I've seen that almost feels like it's being told in real time. Cuarón doesn't edit out the mundane. Instead, he embraces it as a fact of life and uses it to enhance his vision.
We follow Cleo (Yalitza Apricio), a quiet, shy young maid who we learn very little about throughout the film. When she becomes pregnant, and her arrogant boyfriend walks out on her, she's faced with the ultimate test of adulthood. It's poignant and intense, made more real by the backdrop of 1970's Mexico. In one of the film's crucial scenes, Cuarón uses the real 1971 Corpus Christi Massacre, where a number of protesting students were murdered by assailants. It's masterful storytelling at its finest, and the scene's conclusion is nothing short of heartbreaking.
For me, Roma started out quite slow, but won me over in the second half once the story started to pick up. Cleo is a reserved but likable heroine who continuously has life-changing moments thrust upon her over the course of the film. It's easy to see why critics are calling this Cuarón's masterpiece. It comes from his heart more so than anything he's ever done, and the end result is a breathtaking work of art that will live on for decades to come.